Our last stop in china was a mix of old and new, a blend of cultures and a sea of people. The city is far from perfect but we loved our time in Beijing.
Also, we didn’t visit the Great Wall here, we went to Jiayuguan to avoid the huge crowds that swarm the wall daily. Click HERE to read more.
Things To Do:
NAMOC, an art gallery that’s free to the public (as long as you remember your passport) and open daily. It’s home to hundreds of works of art and there is a wide variety of pieces on display though a lot of the information is in Chinese only. It’s certainly worth a few hours of your time.
The Olympic park is open to the public and its free to wander around outside, the best building are the water cube and the birds nest. The Olympic tower still looks like something from a sci-fi movie, even years after it was originally built. The park is so big that it has 3 subway stations.
Lama Temple is a peaceful place to spend a quiet morning, its over 270 years old and has a little museum at the back. Entrance costs ¥25 and it has its own subway station. The smell of incense is more overpowering here than anywhere else we’ve ever visited, so if you don’t appreciate the smell then this may not be your kind of place.
The Forbidden City is one of the most popular things To Do in Beijing, we only saw about 1/3 of it though. We forgot our passports and managed to sweet talk our way past the first security guard, we saw a good deal before the second security checkpoint where we were told we couldn’t buy tickets. They would usually cost ¥60.
The Silk Street market is famous for fake designer clothes, it’s full of European tourists looking for a bargain. The 4th floor is good for souvenirs like fridge magnets etc. You can find the market next to the Yong’anli subway station.
Where To Eat:
I was fairly underwhelmed by the street food options in Beijing compared to the rest of the country, the best market we found was the famous Wangfujing food street, its popular with tourists and has some normal food as well as the wierd and wacky.
Even though it’s a chain in a mall, we still loved Saizeriya inside the Xin-so shopping centre (Olympic park). Italian pasta dishes are super tasty and the same price as most street food.
There’s a direct train to the Dongzhimen subway station, it takes around 30 minutes and costs ¥25. From there you can take the subway to the rest of the city, costing ¥3-¥5 depending how far your going. (The subway in Beijing is fantastic but it’s ALWAYS busy, doesn’t matter what time of the day you’re traveling).
If your plane lands/leaves outside the railway hours (06:30 to 23:00) then your only option is a taxi, we paid ¥120 to T2, arranged through our hostel.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the P-Loft youth hostel in a private room for 298¥ per night, booked through booking.com, I thought it was overpriced but you are in the capital after all, the location was perfect (just a few minutes walk to the subway station) and the rooms were clean.
While we were there the hostel was undergoing a complete refurbishment, it was mostly a building site (May 2018), I imagine that the place will be stunning when it’s completed.